Best Dog Food for Allergies
A 4-Step Guide to Determining What Type of Food Your Dog is Allergic To
Before you spend $200 to $300 on a veterinarian trip because your dog’s skin is irritated, you should first attempt to determine if it is from a food allergy. By following the steps in this guide, you can determine if your beloved pet is suffering from a food allergy, and find the best dog food for their allergies.
Check to See if the Skin Irritation is a Food Allergy
This step will help you decide if it is necessary to visit the local veterinarian, or if the spot made it through his new menu choices. If your dog is suffering from a skin irritation, and the effects are limited to minor hair loss, excessive itching, hot spots, loose stool and frequent vomiting, there is a strong chance that he is suffering from food allergies.
If your dog develops red blotches (not caused by excessive scratching), ringworm shaped skin markings or hair loss or pus pockets, they are suffering from a pest/bacteria allergy, and should be given a cool bath with appropriate flea shampoo. For ringworm symptoms, you should him treat with store-bought medicine. If the bath does not resolve the allergy within 24 to 48 hours then consult a veterinarian.
*NOTE – If your dog begins rubbing his face more frequently, there is a strong chance that he is suffering from a contact allergy, which could be anything within your home. Think about any new chemicals you might have introduced into the household.
Identify the Ingredients in the Dog Food
Dog foods are often the cause of allergies in our canine friends and are typically made up of six major ingredients. By figuring out what is in their diet, we can determine what is causing their discomfort. The major six ingredients of dog food are:
- Dairy Products
- Combinations of the Above
*Helpful Hint! – Stop feeding your dog human food for 1 week
Human food often contains combinations of different food types, so it is easier to isolate the allergy culprit when you remove it from their diet. It is only temporary.
Change to a Brand without Corn, Soy, Beef, Poultry, or Dairy
By trying each of the food types, one at a time, we can isolate what the cause is. If the main food base of your dog’s food was beef, select one that is made from poultry instead. Feed your dog the new dog food for one full day, and see how they respond. If they begin scratching less, and the loose stool and vomiting stops, you have found your dog’s allergen. After twenty-four hours, check the skin irritation, and see if the spot is less red.
Repeat from Step 2, Checking Each of the 6 Major Food Allergy Types
Seldom do we isolate the cause on the first attempt, but as long as your dog’s condition is not worsening, do not be afraid to continue. Your dog is certain to love the variety of this experiment, and it will cost less than visiting a veterinarian.
If your dog is still scratching and suffering from irritated skin, compare the ingredients of the first and second food. Anything that the two foods had in common, cross off the list for the next type of dog food. For example, if the beef-based and chicken-based dog foods both had corn, look for a fish-based dog food that has soy or any other ingredient instead of corn.
If your dog’s skin begins to clear up, then you know you have found the best dog food for allergies.
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